Practical Software Measurement

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How Does Agile Quality Compare?

During a recent consulting engagement, a customer asked if the QSM defect discovery model applied to Agile projects.  Of course, the best (and only) way to determine this was empirically.  From our database we extracted a sample of business IT projects that had completed since 2013 that recorded pre-implementation defects.  81 of these projects were Agile and 354 did not specify Agile as their development methodology.  We created average trend lines for both datasets and they displayed very similar patterns that conformed to the QSM defect discovery model.  This allowed us to answer our customer’s question affirmatively.

Agile Quality

Having a large project sample at hand and being curious, we decided to compare these metrics:

  • Mean time to defect (which measures the average time a system runs defect-free in the first month after implementation)
  • Average development time in months
  • Staffing
  • Cost/effort

Agile Quality

In a nutshell, the Agile and non-Agile projects used very similar staff sizes.  The Agile projects completed sooner and expended slightly less effort.  Quality was where the two project sets differed significantly.  Pre-implementation, Agile projects recorded fewer defects than non-Agile ones.  However, post-implementation the non-Agile projects operated longer between discovering defects in production than did Agile projects.

Agile Quality

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Agile Quality

Webinar Replay: Navigating Agile Estimation Challenges

Navigating Agile Estimation Challenges

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, a replay is now available.

Agile methods have brought vast improvements to software development practices, but as with any process, still pose many implementation challenges. Estimating, planning, and tracking Agile projects is particularly difficult because the formality, consistency, and repeatability of Agile practices vary widely across organizations. In this PDU-approved webinar, Laura Zuber shows how macro level metrics gathered for completed projects and used as the basis of estimation and project control promote repeatability and predictability. Learn how SLIM-Suite tool’s customizable modeling parameters, such as Agile increment lines and sizing techniques, let you balance the needs of teams and the business.

Watch the replay!

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Agile Estimation webinar

Upcoming Webinar: Navigating Agile Estimation Challenges

Navigating Agile Estimation Challenges

Agile methods have brought vast improvements to software development practices, but as with any process, still pose many implementation challenges. Estimating, planning, and tracking Agile projects is particularly difficult because the formality, consistency, and repeatability of Agile practices vary widely across organizations. In this PDU-approved webinar presented Thursday August 13 at 1 PM EDT, Laura Zuber will show how macro level metrics gathered for completed projects and used as the basis of estimation and project control promote repeatability and predictability. Learn how SLIM-Suite tool’s customizable modeling parameters, such as Agile increment lines and sizing techniques, let you balance the needs of teams and the business.

Register now!

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webinar Estimation Agile

Software Estimation in the World of COVID-19

The onset of COVID-19 has revealed many dependent synergies in the world and their mutual effects on one another.  For example, the decrease in human consumption of fossil fuels, not as many cars on the road nor planes in the air has reduced carbon emissions resulting in cleaner air, at least for the time being. 

Another synergistic COVID-19 result affects the IT world, including estimation of software delivery.  Many organizations wisely instilled a work from home (WFH) policy to mitigate the potential spread of disease.  This new work format introduced a fascinating human experiment – can we be as productive en masse during a WFH situation as opposed to being in the office?  The lack of physical proximity stresses the importance of fluid and effective communication.  During pre-COVID-19 days, estimating software delivery was orchestrated through meetings in hallways and conference rooms to communicate project assumptions, constraints and lobbying for project expectations.  But post-COVID-19, we are reliant on remote/virtual contact, limiting the nuances of physical meetings.  Thankfully, there are capabilities in place to make this a fluid process within our SLIM-Collaborate solution. 

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Estimation SLIM-Collaborate

Using Big Picture Analytics to Power Software Estimation

Imagine a software development process where “Big Picture” estimates can be generated before detailed planning takes place, where the estimates can be accessed on the web, and where only three or four inputs are needed to generate reliable information. This process would include intelligent models that take into account historical data and there would be a back office team that specializes in software customization available to do the heavy lifting. Finally, there would be business analytics and industry data (plenty of both) to help with project target negotiations and risk trade-off analysis.

Thankfully, there are science-based estimation solutions available that include the capabilities mentioned above. These packages can make estimation easier, more transparent, and help manage the uncertainty that can come with early planning. There are technology organizations that are using these types of tools to improve their time to market and the accuracy of their software development estimates.

But there are many organizations that still struggle with estimation. They spend millions of dollars each year developing and delivering software. The planning usually starts with senior management asking tough questions about cost and schedule targets. The project leads then try to come up with effort estimates for each person on the project based on experience and gut feel. These effort numbers are tallied up in spreadsheets to come up with an overall estimate, the numbers are usually negotiated and then a final estimate is born. The problem with this process is that it takes a long time to carry out and the estimates are usually inaccurate. This is because the methods don’t take into account the non-linear relationships, integration, and overhead that we often see in software development.  When the estimates are off, millions of dollars are spent trying to change course. The rest is history. 

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Estimation SLIM-Collaborate

Webinar Replay: Taking Software Estimation & Planning to a Higher Level

Measuring Software Size Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, tune into the replay to watch the full presentation and lively Q&A session from our audience. Slides are also available for download.

Technology organizations spend millions of dollars each year developing and delivering software. Whether the programs are in-house or vendor related, successful planning of these programs depends heavily on reliable estimates. Being able to generate these estimates early before detailed planning takes place is essential and can have a major impact on annual budgeting, resource allocation and cost and schedule overruns. In this PDU-approved webinar, Keith Ciocco will summarize best practices for top-down estimation and how to leverage estimation tools.

Watch the replay!

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webinar Estimation

Upcoming Webinar: Taking Software Estimation & Planning to a Higher Level

Technology organizations spend millions of dollars each year developing and delivering software. Whether the programs are in-house or vendor related, successful planning of these programs depends heavily on reliable estimates. Being able to generate these estimates early before detailed planning takes place is essential and can have a major impact on annual budgeting, resource allocation and cost and schedule overruns. In this PDU-approved webinar, presented on May 21 at 1:00 PM EDT, Keith Ciocco will summarize best practices for top-down estimation and how to leverage estimation tools.

Register now!

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Estimation webinar

New White Paper How Estimation Tools Bring Agility, Predictability to Cloud Migration

Cloud Estimation

Cloud computing is revolutionizing the way firms host software applications, store and access data, and manage IT infrastructure.  Like any quantum leap in technology, the move to the Cloud brings both opportunities and challenges. A recent public Cloud adoption survey found that only 43% of respondents considered their most recent public Cloud migration an overall success. IT departments moving to the Cloud have a thousand decisions to make. All of them require good data and a solid grasp of business goals, current capabilities, and resources. They also need a simple, practical way to predict future staffing and skills gaps, present options to stakeholders and management, build support, and adjust plans when conditions and priorities change. In this white paper, Kate Armel explains where general purpose estimation tools can help you quickly create and revise estimates, establish repeatable estimation processes, sanity check plans against proven performance, and mitigate known – and hidden - migration risks.

Read the white paper!

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cloud Estimation White Paper

Webinar Replay: Measuring Software Size - Insights from the Past to Guide the Future

Measuring Software Size Webinar

If you were unable to attend our recent webinar, a replay is now available.

Software size measures are critical to project estimation, governance, and closeout. Methods for measuring size have been around for decades, yet many organizations still struggle to establish consistent, repeatable processes for capturing software size. Common agreement is that project size is the most important predictor of cost and schedule.

In this PDU-approved webinar, Laura Zuber describes ways to measure software size and gather actual data for completed projects to improve future estimates and in-flight project forecasts.

Watch the replay!

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Webinars Sizing Estimation

An Important COVID-19 Update from QSM

Here at QSM, we realize COVID-19 has impacted your lives and businesses in many ways. One thing we don't want you to worry about is how to get the resources you need from us during this time of crisis. QSM is adhering to both CDC and state guidelines with all employees working remotely at this time. Whether it's customer support, online training, one-on-one remote coaching sessions, FAQs, white papers, or webinars, QSM is fully-equipped to support you. Below is a list of resources...

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